Bear Dog?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BASIC, May 21, 2005.

  1. BASIC

    BASIC Well-Known Member

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    Hi,my wife,infant daughter and I live in northwestern NJ,as you may or may not know we have a very large black bear population.Unfortunatley thers been alot of problems with bear attacking and killing livestock,a small pet dog was killed last week.I think the bear problems have been caused by to many people moving up here to rural NJ(thats an oxymoron)displacing there habitat and leaving there garbage out for the bears to feed on.Theres also coyotes and reports of mountain lions.I would much rather have the animals here than the people.They tried a bear hunt a few years ago and had poor resuls.Instead of killing the so called nusince bears around where people lived,the bears taken were of course out in the woods away from people.there was also much fewer bears killed than the atate thought would be.Attempts to have another bear season have so far failed.While we have never been bothered by them(they did get our garbage twice when I put it out to early),I'm still concered about my wife and child.We'd like to get a dog anyway,part of the criteria for a dog is one that can deal with a bear if in the remote chance that would ever happen.We also need a dog that will be good with our child,not chase deer,and not be aggresive with visiting faimily.We also want a breed with few inherant health problems,like GSD with bad hips.The breed can't be exotic,with 5 breeders in the US and puppies costing $5000.I also prefer a dog with shorter hair but still able to take cold weather(the dog will live in the house with us).Any suggestions please?
     
  2. KindredCanuck

    KindredCanuck In Remembrance

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    Anatolian Shepherd Dog..

    Check rescue site for breeds too.. there are ones for every breed
    KC~
     

  3. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    I would recommend any of the LGD breeds. Start your research here: http://www.lgd.org/ and then when you think you've found one that seems to suit your family, start talking to some of the rescue groups for that breed and see what they say. The more info you can give them about what you want, the more likely they will be to help you figure out if this breed will serve you well. I don't see Mastiffs listed on the LGD site but I do know of people who use them as LGDs. They are also good family dogs that are very protective.
     
  4. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Bears in NJ ? I guess anything is possible. good luck.
     
  5. chickmomma57

    chickmomma57 Well-Known Member

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    We live in NW Jersey also, we also have lots of bears in the neighborhood. Our neighbor has a sheepdog of some kind. It's funny to watch that dog run circles around the bear and scare them off. It's also great with their children. This dog keeps the children corraled in the yard by running circles around them, making the circle smaller and smaller until the kids are where the dog wants them. This dog does scare off the deer though.

    I can sympathize with you. I don't know what the answer is to try and control the bear problem. Just dreading the day when I hear a small child gets attacked.
     
  6. Running Arrow

    Running Arrow Member

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    Don't know about bears, however, the Rhodesian Ridgeback (short hair, medium to large dog (60 to 90#) tan color is a good people protector and not that expensive. They were originally bred to hunt lions.

    If you're looking for size and an "intimidator" might try a Bull Mastiff or a very large Rottweiller. Both definitely need to be contained in a good fenced area.
     
  7. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

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    Keep the bears up there !!! We don't want them down here in south Jersey !!!!

    If it were me, I would just look for a good large-sized mixed breed. A shepherd-lab mix is an excellent dog, and usually the mixed-breeds don't get the inherited problems of the pure breds. There seem to be a lot of Rottweiler mixes out there, too. I think any dog that is a good family dog would protect from a bear, as long as it is a big strong dog. We have a dog who is a Lab-border collie cross, he grew to 100 lbs. He is a great dog - very calm and obedient around the house and with his family, but an awesome watchdog. Good luck. We just had coyotes start showing up in this area. As an owner of chickens and sheep, I am NOT happy about this.
     
  8. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    i have a friend that lives in ringwood there are a lot of bears there
     
  9. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    my suggestions would be an inu breed like an akita they can be very intimidating and were bred in japan for hunting and for baby sitting children as the women did their household things, an anatolian shep. though they can be hard to get to accept new people since their guading instincts were bred so deeply into them, or a molosser breed like mastiffs or american bulldogs, just remember guarding breeds of dogs need a firm master if you're not on top they will be and you wont want that. :no:
    also you'll probly want more than one dog, a bear is not likely to fear one lone dog.
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I suspect that any dog tall enough and fast enough to stay out of the bears reach while reliably barking would do.

    The dog should not be a coward, it does need to be assertive enough to bark, just as long as it is smart enough to not attack a bear by itself.
     
  11. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    I second dbthomas' suggestion of Plott hounds. Some of the other big hunting breeds can be aggressive to people and hard to train. The Plotts I worked with in Vermont were kind to people and almost impervious to pain (or pretended to be).
     
  12. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    I would say the American Bulldog would be the way to go. Yes, I do have a bias but it is because of the things the breed can do not just because I have them. I have had GSD's and Rotties and plenty of other breeds ---- none could match the American Bulldog in strength, agility, courage and temperament.
    Whatever breed you choose getting it from proven and tested parents will be the most important thing you will do. Having a pedigree that says a dog is a "pure bred" dog means almost nothing. Having parents of a puppy that have passed temperament tests like Canine Good Citizen (or simular tests done by other registries) is important if you want to trust the dog with children and guests. If you want a dog that has courage get a puppy from parents that have had their courage tested. With American Bulldogs we test them with a Guard Dog Test and a GTT2 test. If you want a dog that can handle dangerous wild animals get a puppy from parents that have proven they can. We test our bulldogs on Wild Boar and they earn their Wild Boar or Catchdog titles if they can handle these dangerous animals. If you are concerned about bad hips get a puppy out of parents that have had their hips checked by OFA or Penn-Hip.
    Getting a good dog is very possible and it is not a matter of rolling the dice. You can get a very good dog by getting your puppy from proven tested parents.
    It doesn't have to be an American Bulldog puppy --- just get it out of parents (of whatever breed) that have proven everything you want (and maybe more). DO NOT BUY A DOG BECAUSE THE BREED WAS USED FOR SOMETHING 2OO YEARS AGO. Buy a dog because the puppies parents proved themselves in their life time. Much of the working ability has been breed out of dogs so that they can be calm in a show ring. That will not help you when Mr. Black Bear is between you and your child. Which is about the only time your dog should be allowed to engage a bear.
     
  13. john#4

    john#4 Well-Known Member

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    Basic,

    Sussex County has always had black bears. I lived there over 10 years.
    I would pick blueberries on one side side of the patch and a BB would be eating on the other.
    When I lived there (quite a flew years ago) they opened a bear season on bears with buckshot only. No thanks. We were right in the woods on the farm and had no trouble.
    Where are you in NJ?
    John#4
     
  14. momofmany

    momofmany Dayenu farms

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    Great Pyreneeese are a breed that I find very gentle, and very protective. MY Pyr allows my baby to whoop on it, but doesn't let any other animals near the house.
    Their uses through history include protecting their flock from bears and wolves.
    You do have to have a fenced area for them though, cause they were also bread to roam with the flock.
     
  15. steff bugielski

    steff bugielski Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in Wyckoff NY. Many years ago when it was rural in the surrounding areas. We had bears in our back yard often-40 yrs ago. I now am in the catskills. We still have bears but we tolerate them better out here. As for a dog an Akita would be great. I have a friend that is need of finding homes for some-she used to breed but is getting to old.
    She some young and some adults. PM me if interested in talking to her. She might be willing to give them away for a small fee.
    steff
     
  16. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    it does sound unlikely to me as well. however, bears are rapidly running out of places to live, and along with that problem they are starving. the only reason they'd get that close to humans is if they had no other choice. at the same time, i would hazard a guess and say that coyotes are probably the largest part of the problem, and alot of small animals deaths are blamed on bears instead. it happens on here on a regular basis. people are all upset and think a bear has torn apart their chicken coop, but as the story unfolds it turns out to be something much smaller, like their own family dog.


    i used to be married to a bear hunter who used plotts. they can be a very mean animal, and it is not unheard of for them to turn on their owner. like any other breed, i guess it depends on the dog, and the owner.
     
  17. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    I remember news stories from last year (?) about the huge bear population in parts of NJ and that they were going to start hunting them. Not all of NJ is heavily populated...aren't the pine barrens still pretty wild? Haven't been there in a long time. Anyway, if they can hide the Jersey Devil, why not a thriving population of black bears? :) Anyways, our Great Pyrenees are wonderful at running off bears AND they are good with kids to boot.
     
  18. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    From clear across the country here's what works locally. Neighbor has a large fruit orchard that attracts every bear with a functional sniffer. He keeps three dogs ALL of which run the bears.

    First is a purebred Lab that is a sweet gentle old girl. But give her the scent and she is off into the woods with death in her heart.

    Next is a purebred Australian Shepherd. This one is young and a bit flighty, but where Lucy (the Lab) goes she is quick to join in.

    Lastly is an Australian Shepherd X Blue Heeler, and this guy lives to hunt. Many times one or any combination gives a signal and the lot is off the deck and into the orchard/woods/where ever and after a bruin.

    Usually this gets followed up with a trip out with weapon and flashlight and often ends with another bruin on the ground. Makes me smile it does!!!

    For the record, I was and am surprised at the behavior of the Lab most, but bear dogs all and pretty darned good at it. They don't seem to be very interested in deer, but I think that is mostly neighbor's training. He's like me about bears.

    bearkiller
     
  19. BASIC

    BASIC Well-Known Member

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    Thankyou all for the help.I'm not real interested in a hound(Plott,Ridgeback,etc.)as i understand they have a high prey drive and will tend to hunt animals.
    americanbulldog,I have read about them and they seem like a great dog.Do you know of any web-sites where I can find out more?I asume you are a breeder,what type of AB do you breed?I'd be interested in finding out more about your dogs.Can you recommend any breeders in NJ?
    Theres also a Kerilian Bear Dog a finnish breed thats used for bear hunting and aversion training.Everyone made good sugestions,thank you,so far the American Bulldog might be the best choice for us,hopefully we can find out more.
    John#4,sir,I'm in Sussex county,BASIC.
     
  20. americanbulldog

    americanbulldog American Hunter

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    Just one thing I think I should have mentioned in addition to my last post, and that is that there is not much chance that the bears will bother you if you give them some space.
    Then if everything still goes wrong you can still have an American Bulldog there just in case. I can't speak for many of the other breeds people are talking about but American Bulldogs are great with kids too. Whatever breed you get to protect you and your children needs to be good with them and you (What is the point of having a bear killer that will kill your children or you just the same?).
    No matter which breed of dog you get make sure they have temperament tests, courage tests, working ability (with working titles) and a Penn-hip x-ray. In addition to that make sure the parents of the puppy have been tested for what ever other problems the breed is prone to.
    Good luck, and if you need more help feel free to PM me. :)